I have owned my Westinghouse SK-32H240s for about 18 months now, and I figured I would share my experience with other owners. If you have had similar problems or have any constructive comments please post!About the TV
There is some confusion on the boards about this model, especially related to the menus. There are 2 versions, that look identical but contain different hardware:TW-50601
- This model has the flashy graphic based menu's. It has power supply board PN VLT70039.50 REV5, and I believe the mainboard is based around an ATI chipset (haven't confirmed).TW-50602
- This model has a simple text based menu structure with no flair. From what I understand, the powerboard is different and based on the unique firmware and menu, I will guess that the mainboard is different as well.Life of the TV
Initially I was very happy with this TV. It has a great picture for the value, is easy to use, and the price was great. The unit itself looks nice, has great features for fitting non-HD content, and has a ton of settings you can adjust to get things perfect. In fact, you can adjust almost every setting of the TV from the Service Menu. To get there just navigate to the video options menu, type 560529 on the remote, and like magic the service menu pops up. (Dont mess with stuff in here unless you know what you are doing).
After about 6 months of owning the unit I started having problems. The unit was not properly handling HDCP handshaking with an upconverting DVD player causing picture to freeze randomly.
There was an available firmware update, version 1.52 on the website which incorporated a number of "fixes". I downloaded and installed the firmware, which was an easy process. The firmware fixed the HDCP handshake issue, but introduced new problems:
1. TV falls out of "External Speaker" mode if you adjust the volume. This is annoying since my external speaker system needs to the TV volume at 85 to receive a signal.
2. Can no longer adjust volume when no signal is detected. This is annoying when trying to switch to external speakers.
3. HDCP handshaking issues with the PS3... it will flash for 5-30 seconds trying to get things right.
4. Misreporting model in "System Info"... It thinks its a 42" model.
Based on this... don't bother to update the firmware unless you have to. There is no way to revert to the old firmware...which was much better.
Fast forward 8 months and the TV is having problems again. When watching the TV, all of a sudden anything white will become flashing blue (see pic below).
I suspect that this problem is related to the power supply board inside of the TV. I believe that it overheats, and the voltage is supplies to the mainboard wanders causing the TV signal to be scaled "beyond white". This is supported by the fact that you can make the blue go away by adjusting the brightness down (lowering what part of the signal corresponds to white) to a low value.
Also, putting a fan on the powerboard part of the TV so it stays cool, seems to fix the problem (about 85% of the time its good, sometime it still does it).
I tried twice with Westinghouse customer service, and once with Best Buy for some type of support. Since the unit is out of warranty, I was referred to a local repair show. The guys there were nice, but said there was nothing they could do since it would be "impossible to get parts" and "not worth the expense". Another call to Westinghouse referred me to Andrews Electronics in California, where I could order the boards and try replacing them myself.
I would do this, except that a new power board is $130 USD + tax, shipping, and exchange ( I live in Canada). So by the time I had the board it would be around $250, which is a lot especially if it wasn't the only problem. (Pics of the board below)
I modded the TV to try and improve cooling of the power supply board. and it offered some improvement... I still need to keep a fan on the TV to keep it from going blue, but has improved the situation considerably. Newer Westinghouse TV's seem to have vents to cool the boards, so its probably not an issue. Anyway, pictured below is the back of the TV. Note how the "vents" are stamped in for looks, but are not actually vents (they don't penetrate the cabinet)
I opened the vents up with a drill to add cooling:
As I mentioned above, the improvement was moderate. I wouldn't necessarily recommend Westinghouse owners try drilling their cabinets out to fix cooling, its more of a last resort fix.
Interestingly, there is a law firm investigating the high rate of Westinghouse TV failures for a class action lawsuit, if you are a owner you may want to submit your story here:http://lieffcabraser.com/defects...nghouse-hd.htm
If anyone has had problems or a similar experience with Westinghouse, please share!